Jan asked for more information about the laprobe in the last post. Like most of the scarves, shawls, baby blankets, etc that I have made in the last several years, it was what I call 'designed on the needles.' Does that make me a designer? I love my stitch dictionaries! However, I often use the simplest of stitches - garter stitch, seed stitch and simple slip-stitch patterns. This one is just knit one, slip one on the right side row and purl on the back in one color, then with the second color slip one, knit one on the right side and purl on the back. Repeat those four rows for as long as you want, or until you run out of yarn like I did. Then with a close-but-not-quite gold I started at one corner and made the edging. I almost ran out of yarn at the end of the third side, so just did a single crochet edging along the last end. Lexi and I had a little symantics problem while discussing it, but I think we agreed that that end can be the top, at someone's waist when sitting in a wheelchair, with the rest of it covering their legs.
Back to the stitch pattern. After working it for a while, I thought it might be in one of the stitch dictionaries with a name. I found it in the Mon Tricot one from 1972. They call it 'eye of partridge bicoloured.' I used the eye of partridge stitch in one color many years ago in a jacket I made for myself. It doesn't look a lot different from plain stockinette, but the slipped stitches on the back make it denser and therefore warmer.
It must be twenty-five years ago that the jacket (carcoat) I had beem wearing for a few years was showing the signs of that wear, so I started looking for a new one. At that time, everything was down-filled. Now, I've always been overweight, so I didn't need to add to my girth. I finally decided to make my own using some ragg wool yarn I had. I took careful measurements of the jacket I was replacing, because I liked the way it fit, knit a swatch to determine how many stitches I needed, and made my own pattern. I used two strands of the yarn, and knit the body pieces first. Halfway up the first sleeve, I realized that I didn't have enough yarn to finish the jacket that way. Since I had bought the yarn at a closeout sale, there was no way I could get more of it, but I had the same yarn in gray. So I ripped back the sleeve and reworked it with one strand of tan and one of gray. In all these years, I don't think anyone has mentioned the difference between the body and the sleeves. I'm sure they've noticed it, but must think it's OK - or maybe they're just too polite to say they don't.
Here's another shawl I've made recently using that most basic stitch - garter. It is a small triangle - about four feet tip-to-tip and two feet top to point. I alternated two rows (one ridge) of burgundy and old rose, starting with three stitches and increasing one stitch on the first row of each color. The size of this was determined by the amount of old rose I had. It's rather small, but then so are some people.
Another project used the 'bicolour half-linen stitch,' the back of which (on left in picture) is also called 'the footstools' in that Mon Tricot book. I like stitches that look good on both sides for things that are likely to be seen from both sides. This stitch is very much like the eye of partridge, but for the slipped stitches, the yarn is brought to the front.
For this project, I took all my little balls of pinks (an that one burgundy) and rolled them into one ball doing 'Russian joins' to connect them. Then I used them with white and used the white for the border. I like the way it turned out, but haven't decided yet whether to call it a baby blanket and give it to the Pregnancy Resource Center, or a laprobe and give it to the shawl ministry at church.